Tom Holland, the actor surprised the fitness world when he appeared shirtless in Spider-Man. Some people say he used steroids for his physique, did he?
Tom Holland started out in film acting at the age of 16, having previously acted in theatre. His first film was The Impossible (2012), and he has come a long way since. He debuted as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War in 2016 before going on to shoot his own standalone feature film Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017.
Ever since, his face could be seen everywhere, from billboards to celebrity gossip magazines. Indeed, Marvel fans already consider him to be the best Spider-Man through all three of his iterations so far, much to the dismay of Tobey Maguire. The humour and charisma he brought to the character were particularly well received, as Spider-Man fans say the atmosphere of the movie matches that of the comic books quite well.
Tom Holland Isn’t Really That Big
Though it may seem ridiculous to ask whether a person weighing just 141 lbs is on steroids, it is not such a strange question at all. In fact, many people who use steroids don’t look like it at all, and many who don’t use steroids look like they might. Thus, the answer is not as simple as it may seem at first sight. For example, the first Spider-Man on film, the aforementioned Tobey Maguire, who weighed just 71 kg at the time, admitted to using steroids to prepare for that role. That means it may be worthwhile to check whether the new web-slinger did the same.
While Tom Holland may not look all that buff when he has his top on, his topless scenes in the movie show us just how ripped his body is. That just goes to show that you can have strong, well-developed muscles without being bulky. This, of course, leads us to the question of whether he took steroids to achieve this, or whether he is all natural. In order to find out, we need to take a look at how his body has changed over the years.
Firstly, if we were to look at a picture of a young Tom Holland in his first film, The Impossible from 2012 when he was just 16 years old, we would see that he was borderline scrawny at the time. There is very little sign of muscle there, though he was quite skinny. The rate at which muscles develop in men increases greatly between the start of puberty and around 18 years of age.
That means Tom Holland would likely still be building muscle naturally, due to his growth, 2 years after his first film. To the trained observer, however, it would seem as though Holland gained as much as 40 lbs of muscle during the intervening 5 years. It is important to point out that 40 pound is the typical amount of muscle mass a person could expect to gain if they were using steroids. That is precisely the suspicious element here.
Natural Mass Gains
Still, seeing the pictures from his first movie, it is highly unlikely that Tom was lifting weights at the time, so we can easily account for as much as 20 lbs of those gains as beginner’s muscle, muscle he gained when he first hit the gym. However, this still leaves 20 lbs of muscle mass unaccounted for. There are two possibilities that could explain this discrepancy. Firstly, he could have taken steroids, and that would easily have provided him with these results. Alternatively, he could just be a late bloomer, who gained a great deal of natural muscle mass between the ages of 12 and 21.
You can usually tell how buff or scrawny a man is going to be just from looking at him at age 16. This is evidenced by looking at pictures of well-known bodybuilders when they were young and already quite jacked. However, as we have mentioned previously, at 16, Tom Holland was quite scrawny, with no muscle, and really skinny. But in Spider-Man: Homecoming, we see a well-muscled young man, especially when he has his shirt off.
It is not impossible at all to achieve a body like Tom’s without using steroids, so many people would discount this theory right off the bat. The point is that Tom, in particular, has undergone such a dramatic transformation in so few years that it seems almost miraculous, and thus, a bit suspicious. Still, an obvious growth spurt could be detected in just one year, between The Impossible (2012) and How I Live Now (2013), which only leads to further questions.
Steroids Not Necessary
However, it is unlikely that Tom would have felt pressured to take steroids for his role in How I Live Now since he was supposed to be playing a skinny boy anyway. Holland has also said in interviews that he ate mountains of food in preparation for his role as Spider-Man, so much that he would almost throw up. When someone with an ectomorphic body type combines eating a lot and lifting weights for the first time, they stand to see significant gains very quickly. On top of that, it is very likely that Tom had under-eaten for most of his life up to that point, which only makes the change more profound.
In the end, the verdict is clear: Tom is all natural! Being an ectomorph, Tom likely built up his muscle at the speed he did by suddenly starting to eat more and lifting weights, which made his body start to hold on to muscle mass for the first time. Though this result is not surprising, it was important to go through the theory in order to learn something about the way the body works.